On April 22, the famous Chinese luxury handbag influencer Tao Liang — more commonly known as Mr. Bags (包先生) — decided to push his clout to the next level by launching a new WeChat account dedicated specifically to luxury jewelry and watches. Titled @一个有点贵的号 (literally translated ‘an a- little-bit-expensive account’), the account immediately garnered significant attention, with the first article receiving over 95,000 views to date. The response to subsequent articles took in a more subdued 20,000 – 25,000 views, which is still a substantial amount for a newly launched Official Account.
Liang believes he can replicate his success from Mr. Bags by targeting his female readers who have already bought multiple luxury handbags and are now looking to invest in something even more high-end. He has discovered that while many Chinese women are quite knowledgeable about handbags, they know very little about the world of fine jewelry. Like his Mr. Bags account, the content on his new jewelry and watches account will focus on educating and advising readers, beginning with classic collections and gradually expanding into seasonal or special collections. Thus far, his instincts appear to be spot on, with users leaving comments like, “I’ve always claimed I was the type of girl who wasn’t interested in jewels, but after reading this article I realized I was wrong, I just needed someone to explain them to me.”
And Liang’s readers aren’t just showing up to learn, as they’re seemingly prepared to follow through with these more premium purchases. The account’s third article, a guide to introductory level luxury watches between the $1,485 – $5,940 (10,000 – 40,000 RMB) price point, was well received, but several readers expressed that the price point was too low, leaving comments such as, “This article is useful, but I would really like to learn about watches priced around $7425 to $14,850 (50,000 to 100,000 RMB),” with some even asking to learn about watches above the 100,000 RMB threshold.
While Mr. Bags’ new foray into jewelry has gotten the most attention, it’s not the only major shift happening with Liang’s content strategy. Although Liang came to prominence because of his in-depth WeChat articles, over the past several months he’s been heavily focusing on video content. He started publishing long-form vlogs late last year in order to give his followers a close-up look at his everyday life. To date, he’s published 20 vlogs, many of which have garnered between 500,000 to 1 million views on Weibo.
And more recently, he’s been producing and hosting a talk show-style video series called “Mr. Bags包先生的剁手大会” that features an informal panel of his employees. Each episode has a theme, such as the top-five luxury bag brands he and his employees have purchased. These videos are relaxed yet quite informative, allowing Liang and his team to casually put their deep knowledge of the industry on display in a similar way to e-commerce live streaming.
Possibly because it’s a new series, the videos have gotten slightly fewer views than Liang’s vlogs, but they still garner around an impressive 400,000 to 600,000 views on Weibo. Liang appears to be satisfied with the attention his new video strategy has received thus far, as he’s promised his followers that he will upload new vlogs or videos every Thursday.
Liang has also been focusing on Xiaohongshu, the social media and e-commerce platform also known as RED, and he’s now accumulated nearly 250,000 followers on the site. His strategy on RED also centers around video content, but he rarely repurposes content from his other platforms. Instead, he creates exclusive videos for Xiaohongshu that are typically around 60 seconds, shot vertically, and describe one bag in-depth.
These shifts in Liang’s strategy touch upon several trends currently happening in China’s luxury social media and influencer marketing industries. Top influencers have hit the ceiling for growth with their original verticals and are now looking for new ways to serve their audiences. The top-tier fashion influencer Becky Li, for instance, has opened three new official WeChat accounts that focus exclusively on bags, lifestyle, and product shopping lists while still maintaining her original account on the platform.
Chinese luxury consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and they’re eager to learn more about niche products and brands. Video is truly a key format for reaching young Chinese consumers on Xiaohongshu and other platforms these days, and luxury content specifically designed for those social media sites will achieve the most success. Like it or not, video is becoming extremely popular with younger generations in China, which is why influencers, even world-famous ones like Mr. Bags, are making the switch to vlogging.